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Tuesday, June 25th, 2024
the Week of Proper 7 / Ordinary 12
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Bible Commentaries

Golden Chain Commentary on the GospelsGolden Chain Commentary


Old Testament

Thomas Aquinas
St. Thomas Aquinas

St. Thomas Aquinas, one of the Catholic Church's most eminent theologians and philosophers, has profoundly influenced Christian thought. Born around 1225 in Roccasecca, Italy, into the noble Aquino family, Aquinas joined the Dominican Order against his family's wishes, dedicating his life to the study and teaching of theology and philosophy.

Aquinas is best known for his monumental works, the "Summa Theologica" and "Summa Contra Gentiles," which sought to reconcile faith with reason and the works of Aristotle with the teachings of Christianity. His writings cover a wide range of topics, including ethics, natural law, metaphysics, and the nature of God, showcasing his belief that human reason could uncover much about truth and God. However, he also profoundly respected the place of faith, arguing that it complements and completes reason.

A central theme in Aquinas's thought is the concept of natural law, which posits that certain rights and moral values are inherent in human nature and can be discerned by human reason. This idea has been immensely influential in the development of Western legal thought and the understanding of human rights.

Aquinas's method of scholasticism, which involved presenting objections to a proposition, offering a counter-proposition, and then rebutting the objections, was innovative for his time and contributed significantly to the academic discourse.

Despite facing initial resistance from some contemporaries who viewed the incorporation of Aristotelian philosophy into Christian theology with suspicion, Aquinas's ideas gained widespread acceptance. He was canonized as a saint in 1323 and later declared a Doctor of the Church. His feast day is celebrated on January 28.

Today, St. Thomas Aquinas remains a towering figure in the history of Western thought, revered not only for his theological insights but also for his contributions to philosophy. His work continues to inspire students, scholars, and seekers of truth across the world.

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